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Coastal Contemplations day 9

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016
Rock off of Cape Kiwanda

Rock off of Cape Kiwanda

today too, today too
living in mist…
little house


a long day’s journey into…evening
I awoke to the sound of drizzle pitter pattering on my tent.  Now the sound of rain on the tent is an experience not to be missed, but I did intend to pack up and leave Cape Lookout today.  It fell off after a spell and I jumped out and put everything I way.  Then I moved to the campgrounds covered pavilion where I made breakfast as the rain really came down. But it didn’t last and my weather app said it would be mostly just overcast the rest of the day.

looking through rain
at white tipped waves

Heading south now on the Three Capes Route I found that just past the State Park was the most devastating clearcut I’ve seen on this tour.  What was once a beautiful corridor of trees is now cut short on one side and just a barren, brutalized hill.  Recent enough too that wildflowers or undergrowth had yet to move in.  As always when I’m shocked by clearcuts I have to ask myself, “what am I doing to reduce my consumption of wood products?” If there was no demand there’d be no clearcuts.

now with homeless eyes
I see it…
blossoming spring


and following after Issa:

empty hills
empty mind
look! look!

Just past the clearcut is the longest climb of the Oregon Coast. While never very steep it climbs over 800′; almost twice that as the climb to Cape Mears I did yesterday. Of course compared to virtually any mountain pass it is just a bump, but for the coast it is a climb.  The drizzle returned as I mde my ascent and I donned rain gear before the descent.  But by the time I’d wound my way back to the coast at the long sandy beaches at Cape Kiwanda (the third Cape!) it had cleared up and off went the rain gear.

On Old Scenic 101

On Old Scenic 101

I followed the beaches for a while, stopping for lunch in Pacific City.  The route then turned inland and left 101 on one of my favorite bits of riding: Old Scenic 101.  A ten mile strench, it actually adds miles from the more direct 101, but it is in old trees, along a stream and mostly forestland.  Not much traffic and only at the northern end are there houses, which mostly seem to be old school hippies.

following the lively stream
into mossy trees —
easy to forget myself

But back on the main roads I find the character of 101 had really changed.  A lot more traffic and two lanes as I came into Lincoln City. The route take you on the east side of Devils Lake to avoid Lincoln City, but the road was closed for construction. So I continued on 101 through town. You can see why it avoids it – busy, the shoulder goes away and there is a solid mile or two of edge city followed by a tourist trap section of cotton candy, bead shops and other tat.  Just past this was the turnoff to Devils Lake Campground where I was making for this day. It turned out to be a scant block from 101 and the hiker/biker section was literally on a residential street fully open to houses next door. Though it was getting on I decided to press on to the next campground.

Storm rolling in at Boiler Bay

Storm rolling in at Boiler Bay

Once fully outside of Lincoln City environs there is one of the absolute best sections of the coast.  From Boiler Bay to Newport the coast is all wave carved rocks and weather eaten bluffs.  The biking route is as good as it gets too as while 101 climbs a steep bluff, the OR Coast Bicycle Route takes Otter Crest Loop, a narrow road with only one way traffic and a bicycle lane.  This hugs the edge of the bluff and the views into Depoe Bay, Cape Foulweather and Yaquina Head are just stunning.  There was clearly rain coming in but I only felt a few sprinkles on this bit.  Soon enough the road descended back to open sandy beaches where Beaverly Beach State Park is and I would camp this evening. Within a couple hours of my arrival the rain put in an appearance.

lost in the sound
of passing cars —
calm ocean swells

Photos on Flickr: todayall days

Coastal Contemplations day 8

Monday, June 13th, 2016
Cape Mears Lighthouse

Cape Mears Lighthouse

in spring breeze
his stole billowing…
a monk comes too


wind and waves
I decided to stay another night at Cape Lookout, so that I could explore Cape Mears which I’d missed yesterday.  Taking a leisurely morning I enjoyed the first bright blue dawn in a couple of days.  The sun was already quite warm as I made my way back along the Three Capes Route.

mornings clouds —
white thumbprints
on blue paper

The tide was out in Netarts Bay and flocks of seagulls, cormorants wheeled over the windswept mudflats. Great Blue Herons as still as the standing rocks pointing out of the crystal blue seas.  The wind was against me riding north but in the morning it is pretty minimal.  A lovely ride all around.

standing and waiting…
waiting still…
the great blue heron

In Netarts I stopped for lunch and in talking to the cafe owner I found that the “closed” part of the Three Capes Route may be opened for exclusively cyclist use.  There road had been partially wiped out by a mudslide and it’s right on the edge of the rock so not much rebuilding. But sounds like a bicycle can get through and they already are.  So I could have done it – the risk would have paid off.  So it goes. Leaving the cafe in the afternoon the wind had really picked up.

little snail
inch by inch, climb
Mount Fuji!


In response to Issa:

inching up this hill
a butterfly floats past

The road up to Cape Mears went up the rocks and down into coves concluding with a full 2k climb to the lighthouse turnoff. With the strong afternoon wind and constant traffic this would be a preferable northbound route! The road descends to the Lighthouse which was packed with visitors.  I took the trail down to the lighthouse, which is at about the height of the lighthouse itself.  What I really enjoyed was the scenic overlooks, where you’d stand in the hard blowing wind gazing out at lumps of rocks poking out of the blue waters and birds flying everywhere. At the head of the cape you could stare out to where the rippling blue of the ocean meets the blue gradient of the sky.

gusting winds
blow right through
an empty mind

The lighthouse itself is a charming relic of the past.  I do though wish that lighthouse keeper was a viable occupation… After the lighthouse I walked around the cape some more, checked out the Octopus Tree and then made my way back.

Sunset at Cape Lookout

Sunset at Cape Lookout

Again a lovely ride along the capes this time blown along by the strong winds. That evening I was treated to a lovely sunset, an ideal nightcap to a perfect Oregon Coast day.

setting sun
glowing red
on wet sands

Photos on Flickr: todayall days

Coastal Contemplations day 7

Sunday, June 12th, 2016
The ultimate nurse log

The ultimate nurse log

blown forth
by the spring breeze…


drifting down the coast
There was some early morning rain but then the front moved by and the sun cand out.  I lingered in camp, drying out and recombobulating things.  So it was nice and warm when I returned to the road and continued drifting south. The wind was with me, pushing me and the occasional stray cloud down the coast. I rode steadily for about an hour and then I was at Rockaway Beach where I stopped for lunch.

waves and waves
and waves again

I lingered at Rockaway beach, checking out the town, taking care of some business.  This really is the first day that I’ve been able to tour as I’ve intended this time. No pressure, low miles, really checking things out. What also has been really welcome this tour is all those little things that can grate on one – trash, roadkill, edge city, difficult people aneed so on – and tend to lead to some down moments, none of that seems to have any purchase.

riding high in the blue sky
the half moon

Leaving Rockaway Beach the route rolls up and down the rocky promontories and through various little one horse towns.  At least until we come to Tilamook.  There is of course the famous cheese factory – I felt little compunction to visit and just took a picture and continued on my way – juse outside of the town proper.  Real feeling of a farmers town with tourist attractions.  The route now turns west into the wind.

A face in the rocks —
waves roll in

But not for long, as I came to the start of the Three Capes Route there was a sign warning that the road was closed six miles ahead. My maps have an alternative at this point to follow hwy 131 which cuts off Cape Mears. I’m often willing to take closed roads and see if there is a way for a bicycle to ride around, but six miles is a long way to go to find that out. So the direct route it was.

rocks like eyes
in the setting sun

The direct route more or less went through clearcuts, had no shoulder and was more heavily trafficked. It also had the only long climb of the day.  It rejoined the Three Capes Routs with a descending series of rollers.  Back with the wind I rode along Netarts Bay, which was beautiful riding. Right on the water, which was aquamarine with white sandbars poking out of it with the arms of Cape Mear and Cape Lookout encircling it. With a bit of an ascent into the woods I left the bay and soon reached Cape Lookout State Park.

Beach at Cape Lookout in the gloaming

The Beach at Cape Lookout in the gloaming

I’d arrived early due to taking the cutoff route and thus I had plenty of time  here. The hiker/biker sites are in a little stand of trees right above the beach. The continuous sound of the waves rolling in and out would gently accompany ones slumber.

a lone thin cloud can’t obscure the waxing moon

Photos on Flickr: todayall days